Lessons Learned From Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone (& Why You Should Take Your Pilates Certification Exam)
I just returned from a week of learning and testing at the STOTT PILATES® headquarters in Toronto, Canada. I was being tested on my knowledge of the Cadillac, Chair, and Barrels in order to increase my Instructor Trainer credential to include teaching instructors on these apparatus. It was a ton of work to prepare both physically and mentally, but now that it’s all said and done, I gained so much from the process.
When I push myself to complete a challenge I step outside of my comfort zone. I have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, with being judged, or with possible failure. Fear of the unknown is really powerful and can make anyone consider giving up on their dreams. But I swear that every time I’ve poured my blood, sweat, and tears into my dreams, just like Bruce Springsteen, I come out a winner…“Talk about a dream, try to make it real, wake up in the night, the fears so real…badlands you got live it everyday…”
Every system of Pilates instructor certification is different. But for those of you who choose a method like STOTT PILATES® that requires you to complete a practical and written examination, it isn’t uncommon for trained instructors to never take their exam. About 30% of the trained STOTT PILATES® instructors take their exams. I’m sure there are many reasons for this. But if one of the biggest reasons (usually the one that creates lots of excuses) is fear, then I want to help you!
Completing your exam will:
- Solidify the knowledge you have gained throughout your training
- Make you a better instructor
- Give you more teaching confidence
- Make you easier to hire and insure
- Increase your billable rate
- Lift the burden that you didn’t see it through
- And I bet you might even feel impressed by all you have learned and internalized
Let’s get you motivated to take your exam!
Here are the first steps for completing your STOTT PILATES® exam which apply to many methods of Pilates certification:
- Get Your Exam On the Calendar. Call the Training Center to ask to pay for your exam and schedule it. Be sure to ask if they allow the exam to be rescheduled. Getting it on the calendar will provide a goal to work towards. As you get closer to your scheduled exam date, you will know if you are ready. Pushing the date back a couple weeks isn’t usually a big deal if you’re not.
- Find a study buddy. Reach out to others in your training. Perhaps there’s someone that is a few weeks away from their exam and would love to have someone to practice with. Someone to study with will help keep you accountable and on-track with preparation. As well as you can share your ah-ha moments with one another.
- Ask Questions of Senior Instructors. Feel free to ask more questions from senior instructors or the trainers that taught your course. Typically if you’re confused, someone else is too. Plus we love to help clarify and get you the information you need to be successful. We are all basically Pilates Nerds so questions are exciting to us! Email is usually the best way to reach out.
- Check out the STOTT PILATES® exam FAQ. This is basically Cliff Notes for exactly what to demonstrate, what you need to do and say, and expectations.
- Be a body for someone else’s practical exam. I cannot express enough how helpful this is. You see their nervousness, their successes (and mistakes). And it’s always easier to not repeat a mistake you have experienced first hand.
- Schedule a mock exam. You can work out all the nerves in your mock and afterwards the examiner will correct some of your mistakes so you can avoid them on the real exam.
We all need to be tested from time to time to improve, think outside the box, learn and grow. I promise completing your certification will feel like a giant step forward in your understanding. So get it done.
You’ve got something beautiful to share with the world. Completing your Pilates certification will help give a vehicle with which to share it!
I believe in you! Please send me questions and comments below. I want to help.
Sending you encouragement and love,